Artemis 1 Mission

The Department of National Defence Issues Surveillance of Space 2 Ground Based Optical RFI

Sidereal Stare Mode (SSM) and Track Rate Mode (TRM) examples. Credit: DND.

The Department of National Defence (DND) has issued a request for information (RFI) for possible Ground Based Optical solutions for the Surveillance of Space 2 project.

According to the RFI, the system objective of the Surveillance of Space 2 project (SofS2) project is to consider developing a Ground Based Optical (GBO) System “as a means to mitigate a potential loss of SSA (Space Situational Awareness) should (the) Sapphire (satellite) fail prior to the next generation SBO (Space Based Optical) becoming available. Further, it is expected that the GBO System would supplement the next generation SBO System to achieve an even greater SSA capability. “

The objectives of this RFI are to:

  1. Inform Industry of DND’s SofS 2 requirements for a GBO System;
  2. Obtain input from Industry on the feasibility, deficiencies, and proposed improvements with respect to potential options to meet the requirements;
  3. Align this requirement with the Industry’s capabilities, as applicable;
  4. Seek Industry input on potential economic leveraging opportunities; and;
  5. Obtain indicative costing estimates from Industry.

RFI Background

Of note in the RFI is the following which hints at possible multiple SBO satellites along with a GBO capability.

Canada has previously released a request for information (RFI) (file number W8474- 187639/A) that sought information on solutions for an SSA capability that could include Space Based Optical (SBO) Sensors, GBO Sensors, or a combination of the two.

The preferred capability for the SofS 2 solution is Optical and may include a Ground Based Optical (GBO), SBO (which may include multiples) or a combination of both GBO and SBO(s); an enduring SSA capability that provides best value for cost is a key consideration for DND.

This RFI solely addresses the request for solutions to a GBO System for SSA. A separate RFI for the next step for the SBO will be posted in the near future.


  • Industry Day: October 8, 2019
  • One-on-one Meetings: October 8-10, 2019
  • RFI Responses requested: November 12, 2019
  • Draft Request for Proposal (RFP) Review: Winter 2020

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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